Innovative start-up supports local produce and promotes zero waste

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The saying “buy local, eat local” has been gathering steam all over the world. Local food is more flavourful as it is fresh and picked within 24 hours of your purchase and the money spent on local produce stays close to home, reinvested with businesses and services in your community (…) It was this thought that led UAE entrepreneur Atul Chopra to launch the Fresh on Table app last year.

Today Fresh on Table works with local farms to bring the freshest farm and agri-based artisanal food to UAE consumers on a hyper-local model. Chopra says he sources fresh food, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seafood and even local artisanal food-based products, and delivers them within 24 hours to the consumer.

“What is unique about us is that we have cut out the concept of the cold chain. You place an order on the app, it is received by us and then the order is accepted by the farm. Then the farm sends the products to the consolidation centre and we then deliver it to homes,” says Chopra. “Also, by cutting out the cold chain – we make products 15-20 per cent cheaper and sell it as a fair price.”

Not just eating local, the concept of sustainability has also been prioritised by Dubai-based importer and distributor Early Bird, which has started a zero-waste movement with its bio-certified mineral water range, Elisabethen Quelle Still. Managing partner Cornelius Durm says the German mineral water in high-calibre glass bottles works on a deposit system that results in zero waste for the UAE.

The empty bottles and packing crates are taken back from the customers and returned to the factory. There the bottles get cleaned, sanitised and filled again. Each glass bottle is on average used more than 50 times, while the packing crates have an average lifespan of more than 100 uses.

“Even the bottle caps can go back on the empty bottles and will be recycled. This leads to zero waste,” says Durm.

He explains that the initiative also aims to help create a culture of sustainable responsibility that “we hope will see more and more brands opt to avoid creating more pollution and toxic waste”.

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